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Review: Ship Of Fools (PlayStation 5)

Anchors up for this nautical roguelite.

Ship of Fools is a co-operative roguelite from developer FIKA for Team17 games. You play as a ragtag band defending your ship from creatures. The real question is this one sea worthy or does it have too many barnacles?

Let’s dive into the PlayStation 5 version and find out!

Set right back and I’ll tell a tale

The Great Lighthouse has delayed the Aquapocalypse. This held all of the creatures that dwell in the deep dark depths at bay, but now it’s gone out. Your voyage begins by washing up ashore as a cartoony amphibian character. Soon, you are gifted your very own boat and tasked with fighting off the evil sea creatures and restoring the Great Lighthouse. So begins this merry band of fools adventure.

You start in a small island with options to buy new perks for your ship, and the ability to talk to a few townsfolk. The meat of the game begins once you set foot on your ship. I must first state, there is no actual sailing in this game. You are shown a hexagram with multiple mini hexagrams inside of it. You choose which hexagram to set sail for and the game begins. Each hexagram is a new battle or reward depending on which you choose.

We’re going to need a bigger boat

The heart of the game is you tasked with defending your ship from creatures. You do this by attacking with your characters paddle melee attack or by using the cannons placed on the sides of the ship. Also, you must refill the ammo on the cannons manually. Each type of ammo is located on pedestals on the deck of your ship. There are a limited number of pedestal, so choosing positioning and ammo type is vital.

The creatures come fast and relentless in Ship of Fools. Therefore, it is a very frantic game, at times overwhelming. That’s were the co-op part really comes into play. Playing is single player is very difficult. The cannons auto adjust in single player to attack, and enemies come in lesser numbers. Bringing a friend is still difficult, but eases some of the pain of managing the slimes that assault your ship and the swarming flying enemies.

He’s back and better than ever

As previously stated Ship of Fools is a roguelite meaning, you will die, rinse, repeat with some upgrades carrying over from your previous runs. There is also the reward of new playable characters you happen across in fun and inventive ways. Each character has specific perks or bonuses, so they are more than simply aesthetic choices.

Graphically the game looks very nice and runs very smoothly. The characters and creatures are all well designed with a simple, yet endearing style. In addition, bosses are giant creatures that will assail your poor ship and crew from all sides. I would have liked slightly more variety in enemy creatures but, that’s just being nitpicky.

Final thoughts

Ship of Fools is a fun little roguelite with a lot going for it. The graphics are pleasing if not exactly mind-blowing. Additionally, the game is tons of frantic fun with a partner in tow. As a single player game, it’s a little tougher to recommend. It is very fast moving with a lot of moving parts. One person trying to aim cannons, reload, melee the slugs on deck, and keep an eye on floating booty is a lot to ask. Also most of the action taking place on the same boat deck setting, really throws cold water on things.

If you have a co-captain by all means, set sail on this voyage. Going alone could leave you stranded.




Ship of Fools is a fun little roguelite. Just be sure to take a co-captain as this ship encounters some choppy waters as a single player game.

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Andy Schneider

Lifelong SEGA fan ever since the Master System. Avid comic book reader and video gamer. Midwest born and raised. Yakuza, Jet Set Radio and Panzer Dragoon are some of my favorites.
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